Dustin Nippert is a sad, sad Ranger. Photo by Samara Pearlstein
You’re facing a team that has lost the last billion games in a variety of awful, heart-breaking ways. You’re facing a team that has had a power deficit, a walking problem, a deliriously bad bullpen, disgustingly inconsistent and exhausted starting pitching. What do you do?
If you’re Dustin Nippert, apparently you shriek and run in the opposite direction while flailing your arms dramatically in the air.
When you pitch worse than Freddy Garcia, a guy who was basically getting a start as an ‘eh, can’t hurt, may as well see what he can do after having spent months and months and months not pitching at this level’ experiment, you probably feel pretty bad. Check it:
Freddy Garcia: 5.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 59 pitches.
Dustin Nippert: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 4 walks, 6 Ks, 101 pitches.
Eeee-yowch. Gigantic sadface for Dustin Nippert. Of course Nippert’s bullpen backed him up, with two of the six Texas relievers who pitched tonight also giving up 5 earned runs each. The Tigers ended up scoring 17 in all – and that with only ONE home run, a three-run job by Miggy in the 6th. The Tigs managed to walk 9 times in this one. They had 10 walks in the previous three games COMBINED.
Ryan Raburn tripled in a park that WASN’T Comerica. If that doesn’t illustrate the kind of struggles the Rangers had in this one, nothing will.
Despite the crazy offensive output, despite the surprising and mildly gratifying quality of Garcia’s effort, things were not entirely good for the Tigers. How could that be, right? I mean, a cleanly played game from all quarters? UNPOSSIBLE! I am speaking of course about Nate Robertson, who came on in relief of Garcia and gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings. Not the worst outing he’s had, not by a long shot, but in a game where the starter didn’t give up a single earned run in spite of the fact that he was probably stiffer than Gary Sheffield’s knees, it’s kind of discouraging to see a reliever give up more than that.
At least it would be if I hadn’t already reached a kind of saturation point of discouragement so far as Nate’s concerned.
The Race to .500!
… is pretty much impossible at this point. We still have 1 loss left to spare, but this win was more about delaying the inevitable than it was about helping us achieve our last and surely most pathetic goal for the season.
Thursday is an offday, and then on Friday we’re back in the real time zone to take on the Racist Logos at 7:05 pm EDT. Arrrrrmando vs. Dr. Fausto Carmona. I kind of wanted to see Armando skip this start and get some rest, because he’s seemed gassed in his last couple of starts, but I’m not the manager so whatever. Who am I to comment on what we do with our best but over-stretched pitcher at the end of a bad season in a series with basically no meaning? Tasty, tasty futility. Go Tigers!